Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chaphanji, Chimosa, and Kavinaka – May 12 & 13

Mabuchi and Mr. Luka Zimba model "think, pair, share"
After a two-hour drive along rough and and rutted roads  we arrived in the village of Chaphanji. Most of the people speak little to no English but were interested in seeing a white woman and seeing the lesson, so adults and children, even babies, joined us. The teachers report that children often do not attend school, or at least not regularly. Although the classroom was packed with students almost none had paper or pencil.  Mabuchi and I quickly found some pencils in our materials, broke them in half and started sharpening.  
Adults and children of all ages joined the lesson.
After digging around in the closet, the teachers found some paper and we were set to go outside and draw a flowering plant.    It was obvious that many of the children had little or no experience drawing. After an excellent effort by Mabuchi, the basic objective of the lesson was met, the children dismissed, and we discussed what the teachers observed.  Mr. Luka Zimba was quick to make insightful comments about the lesson.  His partner commented that he learned a lot.  Both expressed willingness to practice some strategies they observed.
Mabuchi with her middle school friend
After taking a few photos including this one above of a classmate of Mabuchi’s from middle school, we jumped back in the truck and drove an hour and a half back down the dusty path to Chimosa.  Along the way Mabuchi happened to see her niece on the road who was visiting relatives in a nearby village.  I tease Mabuchi regularly that she knows everyone.
Mabuchi with her niece

Teachers observe as Mabuchi demonstrates and students draw a plant
Next stop: Chimosa!  A government teacher has joined volunteer teachers - Mr. and Mrs. Niyrenda. The government teacher is from a village in the area so he understands the language and culture well.  Mabuchi taught the grade threes about parts of a plant.  The students were prepared with their books and pencils and drawing a plant came easily to them. The children caught on quickly and Mabuchi got past the mere drawing and labeling part of the lesson and led a discussion about the purpose of each part. 

During the discussion with the teachers following the lesson, the government teacher seemed pleased and eager to try some of the strategies demonstrated by Mabuchi.  Mr. Niyrenda already uses some of the strategies but saw the need to use them more regularly.  After presenting the school with chalk and “dusters” as we do at each school, we returned to Lundazi.
Mabuchi presents chalk and dusters to the head teacher
Mabuchi and I pose with the teachers
Students turn and talk to determine the problem in the story
The following day we journeyed another hour and a half to the village of Kavinaka.  The teachers were prepared for our arrival including having name tags for the children.  The school building is new but the furniture is not yet available so students must sit on the floor.

Using real plants as a model for the "Part of a Plant" lesson

Mabuchi taught two lessons –
Students using "think, pair, share"
one for the younger grades and one for the older. The students responded well and contributed to the discussion. 
The two teachers appreciated the lessons and will be ready to demonstrate for us when we return next Friday.
Teacher, Mr. Francis Zimba and his family

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